Pre-paid meters would not work in some institutions – COHESS Chairman

The Chairman of the Conference of Heads of Special Schools (COHESS), has pointed out that, governments policy to ensure that all state institutions use the pre-paid meter for the payment of electricity bills would not be feasible in some institutions.

She said for instance, the pre-paid meter system would not work in institutions such as the special schools for the deaf, where children communicate by signing and also expressed the fear that monies would not be made available at the right time to such institutions, to enable them to purchase power, since their students do not pay school fees.

The COHESS Chairman also said, due to the ban on employment, the special schools were unable to employ house mothers and labourers to wash and clean the children, adding that, things were becoming difficult for them to cope with.

Mrs Atoriya Immaculate, the Chairman of COHESS, said this at the 30th Annual Conference of Heads of Special Schools in Tamale on Tuesday.

The four day conference, which was on the theme: “Enhancing special needs, Education through ICT”, is to evaluate activities of COHESS and see how best to provide the needed educational services to children and youth with special needs.

Mrs Immaculate said the Conference would explore ways and means by which children with special needs would have maximum benefit of ICT to promote teaching and learning.

She noted that in this era of technological advancement and the inclusion of ICT as a core subject in the Junior High School (JHS), children with special needs, who were slow learners, ought to be the first group of students government would think of in the provision of computers, but said regrettably, the first group of lap tops were distributed with not even one special schools benefiting.

“If you visit any special school and see computers there then they are from NGOs”, she said.

Mrs Immaculate commended Child Reach, an NGO working in the Savelugu/Nanton District for sponsoring 10 deaf Senior High School (SHS) graduates for the untrained teachers programme.

Ms Rosemond Blay, Director Special Education Division of the Ghana Education Service said, most of both the teaching and non-teaching staff of the special schools were not performing satisfactorily and impressed upon the heads to ensure discipline in the schools.

She announced that the Division had started a national exercise to restructure staffing needs in all the schools, adding that, it would be an on-going programme and asked the heads to build dossiers on their staff.

Mr Moses Bukari Mabengba, Northern Regional Minister, urged parents with children with disabilities not to threat them differently or hide them in their homes but should rather develop special interest in their education, to enable them to develop their potentials.

He also urged the district assemblies, which had been selected for the establishment of assessment centres for people with disabilities, to expedite action on their construction.

Source: GNA

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